Was about to publish a post like that yesterday but I decided I was too tired hehe.
So OBS is overrrrr and it has been a fufilling experience, and it probably met all the objectives that were planned out for participants.
I really dont know where to start and how to start so I’ll go by the boring way of recounting a personal experience :)
One of the greatest things I probably regret right now is going there with a negative mindset (I mean I tried to be positive…) and dreading it all!
Haha in my previous post I mentioned this:
Hopefully, when I come back I’ll be a better, stronger person who’s like “OBS is the life-changing experience I will want to experience again” like most normal people.
And yes I probably am a stronger person (details below haha) and better person (still hopeful about this) but life-changing might not be the most appropriate word in the world to describe OBS. It was something more than life-changing I believe but I just cant find another word as of now.
OBS was really an eye-opening experience – not simply as to trying new things, doing new things, accomplishing things that seemed mission impossible: it also allowed you to see the people arond you more clearly – much more clearly. The selfless ones, the selfish ones, the happy ones, the ones who always take the initiative and what not. I guess Washington is really an awesome group to begin with though there were people I hardly know or never met or never known.
Washington had a 8 people from 304 and 307 each, and in Washington were Sung Jin, Victoria, Yun Hsin, Esther, Zi Jun, Dana, Almond, Phoebe, Hui Yu, Seishea, Jing Wen, Natalie, Jia Yan, Yu Ling and Yung Shan (and of course me).
Day 1 was probably the least exciting day of them all. After almost an hour ride to the OBS Reception Centre, rain started pelting down from the sky and we boarded the boat (?) at the jetty. It was heavy, crazy and mad rain. Gotta give it to the sky for giving us the warm welcome to the OBS experience. (It was extremely cold actually)
The horrifying weather actually added some excitement to the camp though we were soaked to the skin before Wet Activities even started in the camp. And yeah so we met the entire group for the first (actually second since we assembled in our watches for the first time in the reception centre) and yeah at first I was really happy to be in the same group with some people I am close to but everyone seemed generally pleasant and good (which I later confirmed) heh. Then we met our instructor Shee Mun who is awesome. After that we moved our butts and heavy (or so-I-thought) bags to the store and did the things ever like moving tents/ponchos out from the store, folding them, rolling them, eating them you name it. Ok not the eating part.
The only “cool” activity during the day was to learn how to belay and we simply had to group ourselves into groups of 5 or something then we had to take turns to climb up this rather short structure which might be less than 2m tall. I’m someone really scared of heights but I didnt really feel like dying then because I thought climbing once was enough. I forgot who I was belaying for hahaha but yeah I almost flew off. I think it was Zi Jun and its not because she was heavy (in fact shes tall + skinny + legs long like mad) but you know when people are falling down they actually weight 8945136148952 times their weight. Or maybe not so much. And yeah it was quite cool lah. Then as I climbed my way up to the highest post of the structure which really wasnt really high and made my way down, Shee Mun told the climbers to climb up again. So in all I climbed 2 times. BUT ITS NO BIG DEAL REALLY. HAHAHHA okay yeah whatever so thats it and Im still alive here.
Dinner that day was at this pretty canteen – a proper table and chair to sit on! Its like mixed vegetable rice – take any amount of rice you deem suitable and you’re given vegetables, a drumstick and a fishcake, something extremely average on a normal day at a normal place but that day I was as hungry as a wild red ant in Kekek Campsite so I finished everything. While giving my vegetables to Yung Shan BUT THATS NO BIG DEAL TOO HAHAHAAHA.
Then I forgot what we did. You know how you’re in OBS without a watch you dont know how long you’ve been doing something for and you lose all your brain cells somewhere.
We pitched our tents during broad daylight already and I really love Sung Jin a lot.
So thankful the toilets we showered in (we were in Camp 1 then) were clean but we knew better when we went to Camp 2.
Couldnt sleep the whole night as I was pretty homesick and everything and Sung Jin smacked me three times, one of which she admitted she was conscious but too lazy to apologize. Hahahahahahahahaha. And Yun Hsin was rolling around like a ball. Okay thats a terrifying description but you get my point. Felt like I was sleeping consciously the whole night and I was really tired.
Then thats about it for Day 1.
Day 2 was the day we had Kayak lessons! Only bit I was excited for throughout. I triyaked with Victoria and Sung Jin with Vic at the front, me in the middle, Sung at the back. We learnt to capsize + climb our way up back on the Kayak and it was really, really fun. We kayaked to Camp 2 (so thankful for this – heard other watches trekked to Camp 2!) and did height elements after a rinsing session.
Did (the only) height elements there. We had to climb our way up horizontal logs which were probably around 1.5m apart. This gap increased as we climbed! There were two structures – one of which were harder because of the gigantic gaps in between and one slightly easier. Of course people with short legs should go to the easier one hahahaha but no thats not the case – I guess it was just a matter of challenge and I had it easier.
At first I paired with Vic, and Almond with Dana, but later we swopped since Almond and Vic were the adventurous type, and Dana and I the not-so type. Almond and Vic got up pretty dang fast to the highest one hehe. At any point of time, we all had to belay for someone else – either as the belayer, the assistant belayer or the rope-holder person haha. So I was damn scared for height elements since Im really afraid of heights so I aimed for climbing up 2 logs out of 4. So the first log was relatively easy and the second was not too bad and then I stopped already since 1) I was scared 2) the whole structure was swaying 3) I completed my goals. Then there were still a wholly 8 minutes left (each pair was allocated 15 mins) and then I cannot possibly sit on the log pretending to be scared and not go up anymore. I mean I was really scared lah but cannot like that. Then somehow I managed to push Dana up one more log then I sat there awkwardly and Sung was like why on earth are we chit-chatting up there. Dana is a really good in encouraging people, really. Although shes really mean. Hahahahaha. But anyway somehow just getting scared up there and trying to move one log up but failing and pushing Dana up managed to take up 7 minutes 50 seconds. Then Instructor Mun shouted “10 more seconds” and then everyone was like encouraging me on ground floor (lol) then I felt like I couldnt face them in the face if I didnt go up one more log and then suddenly Im up, on the third log. Hahahahaha okay I felt like I was in a movie ok. With all those sound effects and what not. Only cliche stuff happen in movies. No Im not self-delusional. Then the rest of the day was pretty much slack as I was the second pair to go up. Yun Hsin’s eyes were infected afterwards ): After the whole activity was outdoor cooking and it was pretty damn good. :) Then we slept for the night after washing up and everything.
I think I slept a bit for that night and my double eyelids were emerging hehehhe.
Day 3 was the day of the arduous journey of trekking from Camp 2 to the Kekek Campsite. Our land expedition probably covered about 10km or so and we swopped bags after the second checkpoint. So I swopped with Yun Hsin and I thought I was going to die because it was really super heavy to me and I couldnt stand up straight. Then Yun Hsin helped me take out the bottles from my bag so it would be lighter but it was still dang heavy. But I crossed the remaining three checkpoints with it and I think its super accomplishing. But I wasnt the only one dying though – everyone also carried heavy backpacks. Vic and I were the sweepers for trekking so I had to make sure gaps were closed, everyone kept to left and no one was behind us. Chatted a bit with Instructor Mun and we learnt that it was the peak period for OBS and Instructor Mun had to go land+sea expeditions every week. But she enjoys it I guess. :’) We went to this hill (I forgot its name) and when we shouted, there will be an echo. Its damn cool and it really taught us the moral behind karma. Love Instructor Mun and her stories. So after 10 years we reached Kekek Campsite and we first saw a group of people pitching tents in the middle of the forest and we were like “Oh god nooooo” and then we walked to our real campsite – by the beach. It was awesome – pretty windy and it’s like an open space with more air ventilation and brighter and stuff but it was ant-infested. So we had to take extra precautionary measures to make sure our bags wont be ant-infested. Our group had sentry duty at night for 40 minutes and we swopped with the people in the first tent so they could sleep more since we thought we wouldnt be sleeping yet but in the end we all fell asleep and woke up at 11 to do our duty. That night we were free to do anything we wanted and sleep at anytime like from 9pm onwards or something. Obviously nothing happened – like the boat didnt drift, no illegal immigrants came, no weird old men came to the campsite – just lots of ants so we had to keep moving so they wouldnt climb up our legs and bite us. But they still did ultimately. But it was pretty fun.
Before that Sung Vic and I were in the tent while Esther Zi Jun and Yun Hsin were outside – apparently it was more cooling outside but oh well. We went through the script of Alice (206′s dramafest piece) and the memories of 206 came flooding back and we all miss 206 hell lots.
So after that we went back to sleep and I was so tired I did sleep and then we woke up to 1+ or so when it was raining. Our feet got wet and I felt water dripping on my right leg (from the rain) and somehow it fell from the top of the tent. Hmm.
Kayaking day! (and second last day)
It was really exciting and we did X-island instead of round-island hehe getting stuck in mangroves was pretty scary urgh.
We woke up at 5 or so and brought kayaks down and what not and cleared up campsite!
Since Vic was sea ex leader, our kayak was at the side of the diamond formation and we had to make sure everyone was in the middle of the formation.
After we finally got to the sea, the water was so calm. And the tide was with us ;D So it was a good thing.
Then at 12+ the tide started going against us and so our kayaks were like “woah-ing” on the currents it was pretty fun ^-^ But paddling became much harder since we were going against the tide. But we still reached there in time!
We were behind schedule but we managed to reach Camp 1 in time :D
That was the second/last expedition we had and the sadness was sinking in a bit but I was still super happy we were going to go home! We cleaned up the kayaks, put them up on racks and after that started to put things back into the store – like resetting the store back to default. We cleaned our ponchos, made sure most stuff which we could put back already were back and what not.
We pitched our tents on a different place this time and yeah it was cool.
And we finally showered after one and a half days of feeling gross and dirty.
We had outdoor celebratory dinner cooking and sung was cooking/frying the food! We were told we were supposed to cook for some other group but ours smelt so nice so we were pretty sad about that. After everything was done, we realized we were cooking for ourselves. The soup was super awesome and we sat together and eat together :) It was good but yet also the last night we’d be eating together ): Then sung vic yunhsin and I were sharing one mess tin with two forks and one spoon. Not bad right hahahahah. We were hungry like crazy and we were contemplating whether to cook another maggie mee or not which we didnt. Those were really the fun times sigh.
We slept that night, thankful and sad we wont be sleeping in the tent. It rained that night and I could feel the rain splashing on my face. Poor Sung got drenched because I think the fly sheet got displaced somewhere somehow during the night. ):
Woke up to Sung sitting upright in the tent and realized her sleeping area was soaked because the ground sheet couldnt exactly cover her sleeping area and the fly sheet was displaced. After that we brought our tents to the store and packed up and hung up all the ponchos and tents and blue tubs and put back all the stuff and two cutting boards were missing D:
Then after that we had debrief (our group didnt do jetty jump!) and we shared our highest+lowest points, strengths and weaknesses and a quote. I got a typical quote but it really shows what every experience in OBS means to me :’) Then we played this game that is like Draw Something on the iPhone and each of the two groups had to come up with 8 phrases that was something we did in the past 5 days. It was fun and suddenly I started feeling damn upset I was going to leave Washington. I didnt thought much of this previously because I was all too happy and excited about finally coming home and then I started feeling pretty upset. Next up we put up a funny little skit that includes all 16 phrases and it was really funny and awesome.
Then we got back our phones and wallets and when I first held my phone after 5 days I really felt that it was like a foreign object – felt weird holding a phone in my hands after 5 days of back to the basics of life. We then went to the shop to buy some OBS stuff and then we reported to MPH and soon after we went to the jetty to go back to Singapore. I felt really sad then ):
So thats about it for my OBS journey and really, some things are unforgetable and all these will be part of my memory :’)
But now that Im back I’ve got to do all the work I’ve put down for the past few days.
But Im glad I got to go through all that experience :)
Shall get on to do my work now!
Disclaimer: Hello there :) This post was written almost a year ago! Initially, I wanted to fine-tune the post and (attempt to) make it sound cooler but I decided against it because it’ll lose the original touch to my OBS experience, and the gamut of emotions I felt at that point in time, right after OBS. Hahaha. Therefore, please pardon any uncool portions or grammar/spelling mistakes :D Thanks for reading!